Camino

Sherry ferry. Have you ever heard a more delightful phrase in your life? A sherry ferry is exactly what the Thames clipper was transformed into when Camino took it over for the launch of the second Camino outpost at Canary Wharf. Much to the surprise and bemusement of the commuters on the ferry, a whole pile of bloggers, journalists and Camino staff boarded the ferry at London Bridge complete with bottles of Tio Pepe dry sherry (£3.50 a glass) and platters of chorizo and Spanish cheeses. Talk about arriving in style!

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Octopus tentacle with olive oil mash
All too quickly the ferry pulled up at the dock in Canary Wharf and we were there greeted with a welcome glass of cava to continue on our gourmet odyssey. The new Camino is, like everything in Canary Wharf, pretty new and corporate looking. Despite the fun fooz ball tables, bare brick walls, wooden bar and artfully arranged collections of Spanish products, the whole place does feel a little soulless. Perhaps when it is packed with people there is a different atmosphere.
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Richard Bigg, the owner of Camino describes the road trip that inspired him to create the restaurant
Let’s face it though we were there for the food, not the ambience and the food delivered in spades. I can’t speak highly enough of the fried baby squid (£5.75) which was coated in crisp, crunchy batter and a generous dollop of creamy alioli. The grilled fig stuffed with Mahon cheese and wrapped in ham (£5.50) was an inspired Spanish take on the classic 70′s pigs in blankets. My favourite though of the starters was the arroz negro or black rice (£6.50) for those of us who are not Spaniards. All inky darkness from the squid ink and topped with a tiny bit of baby squid it was creamy and comforting. This was one of the few dishes served with a sprig of parsley on top after Greedy Diva was critical of the chef’s penchant for parsley in her review. The power of the blogosphere.
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Pimientos de Padron
Probably the most spectacular dish was the huge, wriggly gnarly octopus tentacle (£9.75), curled over a mound of olive oil mashed potato. Even I wasn’t writing a food blog I think I would still be tempted to take a photo of it. It was paired with generous bowls of Pimientos de Padron (£3.50) the small, wrinkly Spanish green peppers that are mild enough except for the one in ten that will burn your mouth off in a sort of pepper Russian roulette.
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Rib-eye steak
For the next courses, the huge charcoal grill in the kitchen was put to good use after being fired up a good nine hours prior. It made all the difference to the rib eye steak, a Scottish Mothers Black Gold (£9 for 6 oz) which had been aged for 28 days before the grill was used to create a thick, smoky char on the outside and tender pearly pink interior. Speaking of meat, the most glorious was the Iberico black pig shoulder (£9.50). I was a little nervous as it was cooked medium rare and I am always wary of rare pork but once again the flavour of the charcoal grill was pervasive and the pork was incredibly tender to the point of sharp sweetness. The accompanying wine, Vino del Vero pinot noir (£6.95 a glass), from the exclusively Spanish wine list, was very light with low tannins and a subtle taste that complimented the gutsy food flavours.
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We did work our way through almost the entire menu over the course of dinner and the disappointments were few. The grilled onion and red pepper served on crostada (£4.50) was a bit too slimy and sameish in texture and taste and the chicken skewers (£5) could have done with some more spice and seasoning but the faults were few and far between.
For Londoners who live or work in Canary Wharf, Camino is a great addition to the otherwise fairly dull offerings in the area. For the rest of us, if the sherry ferry is running hop on board but otherwise the original Camino in Kings Cross may have a little more personality with the same brilliant food. Keep your eyes peeled for Camino three, which rumour has it is on the way. In the meantime, Camino is offering a free bottle of Cava for everyone to celebrate the opening available by downloading this Cava voucher.
Gourmet Chick was a guest of Camino.
Essentials
Details: 28 Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf E14 8RR (Ph 020 7841 7311) Tube: Canary Wharf
Damage: Reasonable – although I did not pay
7/10
Links
If you liked reading this you might be interested in my review of another tapas place in London, El Pirata de Tapas or about one of my favourite tapas restaurants in Spain.

Camino on Urbanspoon

Gourmet Giveaway
  • The winners of the Gourmet Giveaway for Good Food and Wine show tickets are for the Wine show – Stolen from other, Sharon Kitten, Nuala Kelly, Inzvestor and Get Lippie.
  • For the Winter show they are – Giving Answers, Tanny Wun, Georgina Foggin, Ally Pratt and Spencer 999.
  • For the Scotland show they are – E Johnston, In Jimmy Jams, Alice Harvies Toun, Fizz 2011 and Y Robs.
  • Winners should have received an email letting them know they have won – enjoy the shows!
Posted by: on October 1st, 2010     6 Comments »

Category: E14, Restaurants - Spanish
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6 Comments on “Camino”

  1. Greedy Diva said at 11:04 am on October 1st, 2010:

    He he – thanks for the link and I’m pleased the parsley garnish has mostly gone into hiding! I thought Camino was a terrific addition to Canary Wharf and sounds like this was a great event. I ate to the point of explosion when I was there so I can’t imagine working through the whole menu (although always happy to try…!)

  2. Amy said at 11:26 am on October 1st, 2010:

    I used to take the Thames Clipper to work and I wish it had been the sherry ferry back then! Great post, my mouth is watering and I’m desperate to try that steak. Will definitely get to Camino as soon as I’m back in London.

  3. Lizzie said at 11:56 am on October 1st, 2010:

    I’ve been to Camino in Kings Cross twice now, and have always had a great meal. That rare pork sounds AMAZING. I have to go back just for that.

  4. Graphic Foodie said at 1:03 pm on October 1st, 2010:

    So sad to have missed this and even sadder looking at these pics! Looks fantastic and a sherry ferry is just a winning idea!

  5. Sam Rice said at 1:56 am on October 2nd, 2010:

    I can’t seem to imagine how full you were during that trip or had you only tasted a little bit of everything you had described. I was actually looking for a pic of the arroz negro or black rice dish you had mentioned. I think that is the most nutritious dish on that night as it is made of black rice which contains high level of antioxidants to fight off cancer. Congrats on your trip. I bet you had a great night.

  6. Gourmet Chick said at 9:18 pm on October 4th, 2010:

    Greedy Diva – you are one influential girl!

    Amy – how fun to take the clipper to work – much better than the tube

    Lizzie – yes I think the rare pork justifies a return visit in itself

    Graphic Foodie – what a shame you missed out

    Sam Rice – sorry for not including it – the black rice was just not very photogenic but it sure was tasty


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